THOUSANDS of children kicked-off the Brighton Festival at the fun-filled Children's Parade. 

Around 5,000 children from primary and secondary schools across the city turned out for the annual event which is touted by organisers as the largest of its kind in Europe.

The streets of Brighton's city centre were filled with eye-catching displays, striking costumes and music inspired by this year's theme Poetry in Motion. 

Each of the 67 schools and community groups performed a well-known poem, including works by Shakespeare, Spike Milligan and Lewis Carroll.

Kicking off the parade was Downs View School special school with a giant duck and pupils in quacking costumes in homage to their duck-inspired poem. 

Headteacher Adrian Carver said: "We've had an incredible time this morning. It's wonderful Downs View is leading the parade in terms of showing the inclusive approach to education in the city."

Coldean Primary School wowed spectators with a rather big jam sandwich and 65 reception pupils in wasp outfits inspired by John Vernon Lord's children's book.

While students from Heathfield Community College manned a giant caterpillar puppet for their take on the Libby Houston's The Dream of the Cabbage Caterpillars. 

Year 9 student Isabelle Dixon, 14, said: "Preparing for the event was a lot of hard work. 

"But now we are here I love it because loads of people are watching and its great being a part of it - it feels really special."

This year organisers estimated 20,000 people packed the streets for the parade.

The parade started in Kensington Street led by Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band who brought their New Orleans style, winding through the city's streets to a finish in Madeira Drive. 

The event jointly produced by Brighton Festival and community arts charity Same Sky is in its 25th year and officially launches the festival. 

Previous themes have seen children dress up as everything from letters of the alphabet and Brighton street names to books, mermaids and even slices of cake for the annual Children’s Parade.

Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, said: "We were hugely impressed once again with the ingenious ways in which schools have embraced the theme of the parade, ‘Poetry in Motion’, choosing poems by the likes of Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Pam Ayres and many more.
"How fantastic to see clowns, cats, witches, and even a giant jam sandwich, parading through the streets of Brighton, led by the Hot 8 Brass Band. A fitting start to Brighton Festival."

Read Monday's The Argus for a Children's Parade eight-page special. 

Add your pictures of the Brighton Festival Children's Parade as it makes its way round the city.

Children's Parade 2017

Children's Parade 2017
Aoife Boylan
Children's Parade 2017
Aoife Boylan
Children's Parade 2017
Aoife Boylan
Children's Parade 2017
Aoife Boylan

St Luke's Primary School with their Loch Ness Monster.

St Luke's Primary School with their Loch Ness Monster.
Community contributor
St Luke's Primary School with their Loch Ness Monster.
Community contributor
St Luke's Primary School with their Loch Ness Monster.
Community contributor
St Luke's Primary School with their Loch Ness Monster.
Community contributor

The parade moving along East Street.

The parade moving along East Street.
Experienced Optimist
The parade moving along East Street.
Experienced Optimist
The parade moving along East Street.
Experienced Optimist

My daughter Jessica very excited and about to start the children's parade route along with myself in happy clown theme for west Blatchington primary school.

My daughter Jessica very excited and about to start the children's parade route along with myself in happy clown theme for west Blatchington primary school.
Angeline Muca
My daughter Jessica very excited and about to start the children's parade route along with myself in happy clown theme for west Blatchington primary school.
Angeline Muca

Rudyard Kipling Primary and Nursery school with our snowdogs!

Rudyard Kipling Primary and Nursery school with our snowdogs!
Ada Elliott
Rudyard Kipling Primary and Nursery school with our snowdogs!
Ada Elliott
Rudyard Kipling Primary and Nursery school with our snowdogs!
Ada Elliott
Rudyard Kipling Primary and Nursery school with our snowdogs!
Ada Elliott

Anna Kingswood-Parsons
Anna Kingswood-Parsons
Anna Kingswood-Parsons

Community contributor

Charlie Brown

Children's parade Brighton 2017 Hangleton Primary School

Children's parade Brighton 2017
Hangleton Primary School
Community contributor
Children's parade Brighton 2017
Hangleton Primary School
Community contributor
Children's parade Brighton 2017
Hangleton Primary School
Community contributor
Children's parade Brighton 2017
Hangleton Primary School
Community contributor

My beautiful grandaughter

My beautiful grandaughter
Sam Scrivens

Rory from Peacehaven Heights

Rory from Peacehaven Heights
Emma Harmer

Childrens Parade in Brighton

Childrens Parade in Brighton
Clarissa Loughridge
Childrens Parade in Brighton
Clarissa Loughridge
Childrens Parade in Brighton
Clarissa Loughridge

Childrens parade Elm Grove cp school

Childrens parade 
Elm Grove cp school
Donna Hawkins
Childrens parade 
Elm Grove cp school
Donna Hawkins
Childrens parade 
Elm Grove cp school
Donna Hawkins
Childrens parade 
Elm Grove cp school
Donna Hawkins

Lucie-lee Catlin - Coombe Road School Enjoying the parade with her friends and teachers!

Lucie-lee Catlin - Coombe Road School
Enjoying the parade with her friends and teachers!
Candy White
Lucie-lee Catlin - Coombe Road School
Enjoying the parade with her friends and teachers!
Candy White